Laminate Flooring Compared to Hardwood Flooring

Laminate Flooring is Often the Choice for Reno/Tahoe HomeownersLaminate Flooring

Laminate flooring allows you to own the look and feel of hardwood floors, without as much outlay. Many homeowners here in the Reno/Tahoe area are taking advantage of the exceptional affordability and flexibility that laminate flooring provides.

With that in mind, I would like to discuss some of the advantages laminates offer by answering a few of the questions I usually hear from people on the subject.

How What is It and How Does It Compare to Hardwood Flooring?

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer, pressed wood flooring product. Laminate flooring simulates wood or tile with a photographic layer under a clear protective layer. There are some pros and cons to consider, and this article includes a chart comparing laminate flooring to hardwood flooring. In general, laminate flooring has a 10 year lifespan and cannot be refinished, whereas hardwood floors can last for many years and be refinished multiple times.

How Do You Clean Laminates?

Caring for a laminate flooring is pretty much the same as with natural hardwood floors. Just sweep or vacuum regularly, damp mop as necessary, and wipe up spills promptly with a sponge or cloth. In some cases a special laminate cleaning product is recommended. I’ve blogged about hardwood floor cleaning in detail. Just remember to avoid soap-based detergents and abrasive cleaners.

Are Area Rugs Advisable with Laminate Flooring?

Now that the weather here is turning a bit colder here in Northern Nevada, that’s a question I’m hearing a lot. Area rugs work fine over laminate flooring. Just be careful not to use rugs which may have abrasive backing on them to keep them from slipping. Instead, look for backings made of  Felt, Rubber, Latex, Polypropylene, or anything soft.

Is Laminate Flooring Alright Over a Concrete sub-floor?

With very few exceptions, laminates can be installed over any well prepared sub-floor, which is why it is sometimes referred to as a “floating” floor. Even existing wood, ceramic tile, vinyl sheet, and carpeting, as well as concrete. If you want your laminate installed over existing carpeting for additional insulation, the carpet should be completely adhered, no more than 1/4″ thick, and installed over a suspended wood sub-floor.

Does Laminate Flooring Work in the Kitchen & Bathroom?

As long as you have a clean, dry, flat, structurally sound sub-floor, and the planks are tight against each other, we can install laminates in pretty much every room in your home. Just like hardwood flooring, however, it will not withstand puddles of water.

What About Over Radiant Heating Elements?

As long as the heating system is embedded in the concrete slab or is under your wood sub-floor (and does not exceed 85 degrees), you’re good to go. We won’t install laminate over a floating radiant heat system or the “mat” style heaters, which sit right on the surface of the sub-floor.  The heating surface cannot touch your laminate flooring, you understand.

Are They a Good Choice for Families With Pets?

Today’s laminates are very durable; designed to stand up to the normal scratches and scuffs of living. As with natural hardwood floors of course, it’s always smart to keep your pet’s nails trimmed. But yes, laminates are an excellent choice for pet owners.

When Can You Install My New Laminate Flooring?

So that’s MY favorite question. Artisan Hardwood Floors is available to install your new laminate flooring, rain or snow or shine. One of the benefits of working indoors. Please contact me right away, so we can discuss your options and schedule.

Sorin Giurca

Master Craftsman, Owner